To combat this, TOMRA Collection Australia and Cleanaway are launching a new nationwide appeal for Aussies to turn their empty drink containers into smiles and support, bringing happiness to up to 6,000 sick kids and their families.
Launching in time for National Recycling Week 2021, the appeal - called "Containers 4 Kids" - is the latest campaign between TOMRA, Cleanaway and Starlight Children's Foundation.
Containers 4 Kids aims to raise $250,000 by encouraging Aussie recyclers to donate the 10-cent refund from their empty drink bottles and cans. Funds raised will ensure Starlight can deliver its vital in-hospital services, including Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Rooms, across children’s hospitals in NSW, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin.
“Over the last 18 months, the hospital experience has been dramatically impacted for thousands of sick kids across Australia. Research from Starlight shows that as a result of COVID-19, children who are hospitalised have been lonelier and more isolated than ever before,” says Ryan Buzzell, President of TOMRA Collection Australia.
“With these hardships ongoing, recycling drink containers and donating the refund to Containers 4 Kids is a great way to support Starlight’s vital services while helping the environment. We’re proud to be working with TOMRA to promote this important cause and play a small part in bringing happiness and laughter to sick kids, teens and their families at such a tough time in their lives,” says David Clancy, General Manager Cleanaway Solid Waste Services NSW, the logistics provider for Return and Earn.
Until April 2022, recyclers in New South Wales, southeast Queensland, Perth and Darwin can donate their 10-cent container refunds at any Return and Earn machines in New South Wales, Containers for Change TOMRA recycling centres (in Queensland and Western Australia) and TOMRA Coconut Grove in the Northern Territory. One hundred per cent of the refunds donated will go directly to Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Louise Baxter, CEO of Starlight, said: “Starlight has been there for sick kids throughout the challenges of the past 18 months. Only with the help of the community and our valued partners such as TOMRA and Cleanaway can we continue to bring happiness to sick kids when they need it most.”
“Every resident who chooses to donate their refund at their local TOMRA recycling location will ensure Starlight help turn the isolation and loneliness of hospitalisation into fun, joy and laughter. Why? Because happiness matters,” she continued.
Four-year-old Aru (below) had a life-saving heart transplant and is a beneficiary of Starlight’s services. Read Aru’s full story here to understand the challenges facing children in hospital and their families and see how Starlight can make a difference with the help of TOMRA and Cleanaway.